Category Archives: travel

“Jingle Bell Rock”

It’s weird because the last couple of years, with the exception of living in Slovakia, I’ve felt pretty disconnected from the Christmas holiday, I figured that it was because I wasn’t living in Christian-based countries. But it was a bit surprising to find that after seeing Christmas decorations being put up in October before Halloween and the “buying” season being stretched to last almost three months, I haven’t been too much into the spirit of Christmas.

So I thought that the best way to feel more in tune with the Christmas spirit would be to bake some cookies. So I made a plan to leave work as soon as possible and begin the mini-Christmas-baking-a-thon. I usually make chocolate chip cookies, Heath bars and Russian tea cakes, but this year I wanted to make something different, so I made dark chocolate brownies and chocolate kissed patties (with either mint truffles Hersey kisses or Cherry Hersey kisses).

I have to admit with my tree up and the smell of fresh baked cookies, as well as the fact that I have a half day [translation it’s possible that I could leave work at 2pm or as soon as my work is all done, whichever comes first] left before two weeks of no work and that friends are coming over on Saturday, all have picked me up a bit. ^^

“Loose Rap”

Here are some random articles. I will a real blog entry up soon…promise…

Interesting houses in Japan…I like the one that has floor to ceiling bookshelves.

A very sad day for me…the closing of Angelika T.T

Fair Indigo, a fair trade and organic on-line company has some really nice things.

Liberty Station

Now that I’ve completely and permanently moved back to Houston, I decided it was about time to get in touch with other RPCVs. Being a Peace Corps Volunteer was such an important part of my life but yet it’s hard to share with people who haven’t been a part of that experience. In some ways, it’s really only other RPCVs understand that experience or are even interested in it. My friend Lisa, is a member of both the official and the unofficial RPCV groups and added me to the lists. So about once a month the groups meet. Yesterday we met at Liberty Station, a bar that was converted from an old gas station. (It’s a bit hard to find, so keep your eyes peeled.)

It was a bit of an eventful evening. After dinner, I had to go through downtown to get to 45 to get to Liberty Station. Since I really haven’t driven in Houston for about four-five years, I have AT&T’s navigator system on my phone and depending on the signal strength sometimes is how fast it changes to the next step. At some point in time, I had to make a right and then an immediate left to get to 45. I made the right and then with my left blinker on changed lanes until I was in the left turning lane, all the while making sure that there was room for me to change lanes. I changed lanes in front of a Houston PD car, but there was more than enough space. Sat at the light and then turned left once the light turned green and there wasn’t an traffic, since it wasn’t a protected left turn. Immediately after the police officer turns, he flips his lights on. I freak out because I haven’t really gotten any tickets ever, I never had D-Hall in my life as a student, etc. So I pull over because maybe I’m in his way keeping him from responding to an emergency. But no it’s me he’s pulling over. I am mentally upset, but I’m actually pretty calm. The conversation when like this:

HPD: Do you know why I pulled you over?

Me: No I don’t. What did I do?

HPD: You made a left turn from the right lane.

Me: But I was in the right lane to turn.

HPD: Exactly, you were in the right lane and made a left had turn.

Me: No, I was in the turning lane, the left turning lane, when I made the turn.

HPD: Well, then, you kinda cut me off.

Me: I did? I’m so sorry. I didn’t know. I’m so sorry.

HPD: License and registration.

Me: I’m so sorry. I never meant to. I’m really sorry.

HPD: Did you hear me honk.

Me: Honk? No. I didn’t. I was lost and trying to find my way.

HPD: Registration. How many tickets have you had.

Me: None.

HPD: None? None? No accidents?

Me: No. No. I had one in college ten years ago.

HPD: What was it for?

Me: Speeding. Here’s all my insurance papers, which one is the one you need?

HPD: This one. *Looks at it and basically throws my drivers license and my insurance at me* Nevermind.

I sat stunned for a bit, then clarity come and I realized he couldn’t really give me a ticket because his original “reason” was not true and the real reason was a bit petty, especially with my driving history.

I eventually made it Liberty Station. It’s an eclectic place, a pretty big outdoor seating area, interesting paintings. The things that I was so impressed with were the seating areas are far enough apart that you can’t hear the tables near by, but close enough that their conversation “buzzes” in your ears and the music is a bit too loud, both make it a bit hard to hear the person next to you.

I’ve come to realize that I never really experienced the much talked about reverse culture shock of readjusting to life in America after being a PCV when I first returned, but I almost immediately left for Ireland, then I returned  for a month or two and then it was off to Slovakia, etc. So I’m experiencing a massive extended reverse culture shock and it’s a bit disorientating at times. Which means that I can get all kinds of advice from RPCVs that know what I’m going through.

Now if I could find a job…

“Untitled”

There are days that I wonder where my life is taking me. It’s already August, but I’m still sending out cover letters and resumes, hoping someone will have an open position, like what they read in my application/cover letter/resume, call me for an interview, like what see and hear, and then offer me a job.

I’ve been meeting new people catching up with a few friends, trying to fit into American life, finding new places to eat, enjoying everything that Holy Cross offers my soul, taking advantage of Borders and their nice comfy chairs that are meant to curl up with a cup of chai and a book. LG. Life’s Good.

“La La Song”

Here are some random links that were of interest to me:

Obama’s Gambit to Get Re-Elected.

A ridiculously expensive new hotel in Morocco that makes me sad to see all the artisan work because there’s no way that the artisans actually were fairly compensated for their work/art.

Reasons 5,941-5,955 why you should grill more often.

Mother Nature Network’s Top 10 Organic Fast Food Restaurant.

“Photographs and Memories”

NOTE: I had some another place that I blog and I decided to delete it, but I wanted to keep the memories. So I’m combining everything on to this blog.

It’s been a long time coming…I think
Monday, March 16, 2009

I get a bit confused about what I wrote on my myspace blog and what I put in a facebook note. So here is a sample of the last 6 months of my life. In the past couple of months, I have:

  • Traveled around the middle of Italy, the seaport of Croatia, and to Medjurgorje.
  • Survived working with Stella and at SEV.
  • Had my heart bruised and somewhat hurt.
  • Been frustrated with the way that the world works.
  • Spent Christmas in Texas for the first time in countless number of years.
  • Spent New Year’s Eve with friends.
  • Tried to OD on rock shows, Tex-Mex, and boba before returning to Korea.
  • Sold a lot of books and still had a small library.
  • Had a meltdown in Japan – I think it’s because I’m Korean.
  • Ran into a fellow RPCV from stage in Peace Corps Morocco while in the Incheon airport.
  • Remembered why I dislike all American airlines, except for Southwest.
  • Spent time with friends I haven’t seen in like 3 years.
  • Sold my car.
  • Caught on most of the American television that I’ve missed in the last 5 years.
  • Tried to send everyone that I could think of a Christmas card (in Korean, of course).
  • Lost about 40 pounds in weight limits on international flights between Korea and the States.
  • Started to do daily Rosaries, honestly.
  • Reread a good portion of my books in my personal library.
  • GUILTY SECRET: Read the Twilight books and they’re worse than adult romance books.
  • Forgot to get a t-shirt from Connie and David.
  • Got called “Aunt Carrot” by one of my nephews, even though “Eun Sook emo” and “Karen” are easy to say, but not “Aunt Karen.”
  • Embarrassed myself while attempting to get over #3.
  • Moved back to Korea.
  • Now teaching at an public elementary school in Song-pa.
  • Moved in to a new apartment.
  • Moved all my stuff that I had stored around Seoul into my new apartment.
  • Started laughing more.
  • Was told that I was a terrible dresser and I need to go on reality tv to learn how to dress, wear makeup, and get my hair done properly.
  • Decided to go to Russia for vacation this year.
  • Tried to let go, especially of past hurts.
  • Was told that I wasn’t Christian.
  • Voted for McCain and got Obama instead.
  • Thought about getting a “What the FOCA” t-shirt but it was too expensive and I only had 100 pounds free on my ticket.
  • Probably needs to go through ESL classes again.
  • Still haven’t seen Breaking Benjamins live.

“Deep In the Heart of Texas”

NOTE: I had some another place that I blog and I decided to delete it, but I wanted to keep the memories. So I’m combining everything on to this blog.

My Texas Vacation
Thursday, February 26, 2009

So since some people will be curious/interested in my vacation here are the highlights of things that I experienced, saw, enjoyed, really disliked about being back in Texas the last two months. Enjoy or don’t enjoy, it’s up to you.

  • I loved the wide variety of food. And yes I had Tex-Mex alot.
  • Yes, you can be a tourist in your own city and with your friends. Especially if they lead busy lives.
  • And it can be extremely frustrating to try and keep the barage of information on the changes straight that everyone has experienced. I may ask for a bunch of powerpoint presentations next time.
  • But it was still great to catch with everything that was/is going on in their lives.
  • I didn’t visit as many museums as I thought that I would have.
  • I enjoyed baking more than I have ever before, mostly likely because it’ll be a while before I get the chance to bake again.
  • Going to rock shows with Zharleen was great because we pretty much have the same taste in rock and anytime she says that the band is good, I know to believe her.
  • It’s frustrating when people try to talk me into doing things because I’m not the same person that they knew before.
  • On one hand it was nice not to drive but it’s annoying to have to look for rides places. At least my friends like to go to Mass and out to eat.
  • I forgot how much I liked Chickfila.
  • Tex-Mex and southern style barbeque never tasted so good in my life.
  • Yes, I still had Korean food, while I was here. How Korean, am I?
  • I spent many hours reading through my library and it was extremely enjoyable.
  • Somehow I’m leaving without a shirt from Connie and David.
  • Somehow I didn’t meet Popple and I’m really not sure how that exactly happened.
  • America is no longer expensive to me.
  • It was interesting how many people that I met that had lived or worked in countries that I have lived or visited and how much I could remember of that language.
  • Mass at Holy Rosary is what Mass should be like.
  • I’m in America and I still can find Wonder Girls and their dance moves.
  • Christmas in America is like nothing else in the world.
  • I didn’t take as many pictures as I thought that I would have.
  • What was the channel that I was supposed to be able to watch NHL games, I looked hard and I still couldn’t find it. That made me sad. I was only able to watch the Winter Classic. That made me sadder.
  • In some ways American television (actual shows, not reality junk) has gotten better (actors, writing, direction), but they’re all procedural shows, except for BSG, The Office, Firday Night Lights, and the stuff on CW.
  • I saw only two movies while I was here and I don’t think that any of them were up for awards this year.
  • I really don’t like the abundance of celebrity dirt/news/reality shows.
  • Galveston makes me sad to see everything that’s still affected by Ike.
  • For some reason, I watched a lot of trailers for upcoming movies, I really want to see GI Joe, Transformers 2, Race to Witch Mountain, the Soloist, Fast and the Furious, Gigantic, X-Men Wolverince Origins, Terminator Salvation, My Sister’s Keeper, Harry Potter 6, Game, Fame, Brothers At War, Duplicity
  • It is a bit boring to be the only one not working or studying especially if you don’t have a car.
  • I miss not being an “exotic”.
  • In addition to Eun Sook, Karen, Karina, Katya, Karrie, I will also now answer to Aunt Carrot.